Island Cycles:  Something for everyone
News from the Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance
July, 2005
Seniors on a roll:  Elderhostels, a tour operator specializing in trips for active seniors brought a big group of cyclists in from the U.S. to ride Victoria and other Island destinations.  The group was out on their warm-up ride during Bike to Work Week.  Don't think they expected so much congestion on a bike trail!  Find out more at: http://www.elderhostel.org/welcome/home.asp
 
Media Search:  Tourism British Columbia came looking for facts on the mountain biking experience on Vancouver Island.  The profile sent out to 5,000 media contacts focuses on Hartland Mountain Bike park north of Victoria, Mt. Wasington Alpine Resort and their chairlift-assisted gonzo biking and the more sedate trails popular with cycling visitors like the Galloping Goose in Victoria.  Hornby Island, one of the many popular Gulf Islands dotting the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the lower Mainland rated the most glowing prose.
 
Elsewhere, Vancouver's revived alternative transportation mag "Momentum" features a column on Island cycling by VICTA coordinator John Luton, the big city Detroit Free Press featured Victoria and the city's Seaside Touring Route for cyclists.  The Seattle Times was also working on a story about weekend cycling getaways to our idyllic Gulf Islands.  The Spirit of Canada, a UK publication, also profiled cycling on the Island.
 
John's Blog:  Where has my bike taken me lately?  Got out to the Saanich Peninsula during strawberry season in June.  Sweet!  Ambled through the Cowichan Valley a few weeks back.  Picked up a nice bottle of red from one of the many wineries in the "Warmland", as the locals know it.  Got caught in the rain on the way back from a round trip to Sooke, but who cares?  Getting in 100k mid week is always a treat.
 
Map discovery:  Well it's not really new, but the Mussio Ventures Backroads Mapbook of Vancouver Island was a handy tool for picking out unexplored routes on the way back from the Cowichan.  A new edition is out this spring.  Current stock is available from VICTA for $18 + shipping.  Lots of other commercial maps available by mail order.  Check out the maps page at www.cyclevancouverisland.ca
 
Walk Too:  Spend some time off the bike.  A new walking map of downtown Victoria has hit the streets.  Six one hour loops are featured in the map released by Victoria's Capital Bike and Walk Society (www.capitalbikeandwalk.org).   Find out how to get yours from johnluton@shaw.ca  For businesses who want to distribute the free map, boxes and boxes are avaialble.
 
Got our free Map and Guide?  Send a snail mail address to johnluton@shaw.ca  For ad and member rates:  johnluton@shaw.ca
 
Events:  There's always something on for the ambitious cyclist.  John Clisby, who manages Victoria's Best Western Carleton Plaza downtown will probably be there.  He's a serious triathlete.  Told me he does the Seattle to Portland ride (325 km) in one day.  Guess he can't miss too much work.  Try and keep up with the triathletes and duathletes at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Duathlon September 25, 2005.  (www.jdfrecreation.com) or ride for a cause at the Fort St. Cycle Triathlon of Compassion on Sunday, July 17 and raise money for the Women's Sexual Assault Centre (www.runnersofcompassion.com).  Not so fast?  The Rona MS Bike Tour:  "The Cowichan Valley Grape Escape"  August 6 & 7, 2005  Explore from Mill Bay through the Cowichan Valley to the Glenora wine region northwest of Victoria, gateway to Vancouver Island.  The Island is the MS Society's favoured destination for hundreds of expected tour participants.  Last year the top 50 fundraisers across North America chose Victoria for their own bike tour.  $120,000 was raised through the Island event in 2004.  Help the cause and join the ride at:  www.msbiketours.com
 

Got an event or tourism tip? Favourite Ride? Share it with VICTA: johnluton@shaw.ca

 
Rides Board:  Bryan Henderson is a Vancouver Island cyclist looking for group rides for recumbent bikes. (For those that don't know what that is, recumbents are not the traditional diamond style bike frame, but a low slung, laid back bike with a relaxed and comfortable riding position).  Talk to Bryan at:  bcinbc2004@yahoo.ca.  Bryan rides in the Ladysmith area.  
 
New York Journal:  Carol came with her Swift Folder, packed it into her room at the Empress and then took it out to Sooke, Port Renfrew, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Tofino for some local rides around Island locations.  Her approach to touring was pure cycling - spend $50 a night on accommodation and $100 a day on food!
 
Chocolate:  Get your calories here.  Send your winningest pictures of cycling on Vancouver Island to johnluton@shaw.ca and win a box of Roger's Chocolates.  Roger's addicts (I'm one), will know this is a rich reward.  Scratch & sniff at:  www.rogerschocolates.com/ 
 
My pic this month - lots of cyclists cruised to downtown Victoria for the Tall Ships Festival.  More than 20 vessels slipped into the Inner Harbour and for cyclists heading to the event - valet bike parking by Chain, Chain, Chain of Victoria.
 

Island Cycles is published by:

John Luton, 22 Philippa Place; Victoria, BC; V8S 1S6; 250-592-4753/250-886-4166 (cell) johnluton@shaw.ca

Coordinator, Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance.  Visit us at:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca